The Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District, recently affirmed the decision of a lower court, dismissing a legal malpractice action. In Davidson v. Gurewitz, a father sued an attorney, who had served as a Court appointed child representative in the father’s custody battle with the child’s mother.
The New Hampshire Supreme Court recently disbarred an attorney, for practicing law while he was still serving a suspension for prior unethical conduct. In the Matter of Paul F Coddington, Jr, an attorney was suspended for professional misconduct and was subsequently hired by a law firm as a paralegal. The attorney falsely told his employer that he had applied to have his license reinstated. Thus, relying on this information, a lawyer at the firm permitted him to represent a client in court and handle cases.
The Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) recently suspended a Massachusetts attorney, who made intentional misrepresentations to four of his clients. In the matter of Alexander R. Cain, an attorney was found to have fabricated documents, lied to his clients, and failed to diligently pursue his client’s claims and interests.
An Evidentiary Panel of the Grievance Committee for the State Bar of Texas has disbarred a Texas Attorney for practicing law while his license was suspended. In Commission for Lawyer Discipline v. Charles D. Septowski, an attorney was serving a three month suspension under a previous disciplinary judgment.
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York has recently affirmed the dismissal of a legal malpractice claim. In Rodriguez v Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, a client was injured in a rear-end car accident and subsequently retained a lawyer to represent him in a case against the other driver. Several years into the lawsuit, the lawyer filed a motion for summary judgment, seeking to establish liability. The motion was denied and the client then terminated the lawyer. He retained new counsel, who subsequently appealed the denial of the motion.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of a legal malpractice, on the basis that the clients had not provided sufficient evidence to support their claims. In Roseland v. Wentzell, a couple owned several parcels of farmland, which they had mortgaged to secure a loan from their bank. They later defaulted on their mortgage payments, and hired an attorney to represent them in bankruptcy proceedings.
The Supreme Court of Nebraska has vacated a trial court’s order granting a client’s motion for a new trial, and affirmed a jury verdict in favor an attorney. In Balames v. Ginn, a client filed a legal malpractice claim against his attorney, alleging that he had negligently failed to obtain the signatures of the client’s business partners as guarantors of a person loan the client made to the business. When the business subsequently defaulted on the loan, the client first discovered that the partners had never signed the loan agreement, and the guaranty was therefore unenforceable against them. Continue reading
The Michigan Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal of a legal malpractice action after determining that a material question of fact remained concerning when the attorney-client relationship had ended, and whether or not the malpractice claim had been brought within the applicable limitations period. In Downs v. Dib, a client hired an attorney to represent her in a medical malpractice case, stemming from the death of her daughter during childbirth. Continue reading
The Vermont Professional Responsibility Board has ordered that an attorney receive a public reprimand for violating multiple Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct. In the matter of John Burke, the estate of a deceased Ohio man hired a Vermont attorney to assist in transferring property in Vermont owned by the decedent to his son. Continue reading
A Magistrate Judge in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey has held that an attorney defending a legal malpractice suit, is not limited to the discovery previously conducted in an underlying action. In Smith v. DeZao, a family hired an attorney to represent them in a wrongful death suit against a New Jersey timeshare company, which booked a vacation for the family at a resort in Mexico. Continue reading